Violence forces teenager Olly to abandon chicken suit protest
An animal rights campaigner was forced to abandon a protest outside KFC when he was punched, rugby tackled and pelted with poultry.
Olly Tyler, 16, arrived at the branch in Trowbridge in a £600 chicken costume to deter diners.
But customers began hurling chicken wings and nuggets at him, before one diner punched him and two men jumped from their car and rugby tackled him. Olly was unharmed, but so shaken he has vowed not to return to the KFC in Trowbridge.
He said: "I was standing on a grass island outside the KFC so I was completely exposed. It was quite hard to see where the attacks were coming from because of the suit.
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"I've protested outside this KFC before and I was pelted with three chicken wings but this time it was much worse.
"People threw sauce and chicken wings at me as well as chicken nuggets. When I left the ground was covered in them.
"One guy punched me in the head. It didn't hurt but I was really shocked. Twenty minutes later, two guys got out of their car and rugby tackled me to the ground.
"I have no idea why they did it. I think they just got caught in the hype."
Olly, from Westwood, was given money from relatives after doing well in his GCSEs and used it to buy a £600 chicken suit, which was handmade in Paris.
The teenager, who has won an award for his work from PETA, decided to protest outside KFC after reading an article claiming the factory hens are kept in horrific conditions.
He stood outside the restaurant on Spitfire Retail Park on October 12 and spent seven hours receiving a "positive reaction" from passers-by.
Olly decided to return to make his stand on December 22 and 23 and planned to spend at least seven hours outside the fast food joint on both days.
He added: "I arrived at 10am and the KFC workers were already outside. They are never that nice to me but they don't do anything.
"The KFC is next to a McDonald's and they are lovely in there, they came out and offered me a meal but I had to turn it down because I'm a vegetarian.
"Most people were nice, they were beeping and waving at me but then it became dangerous.
"I wanted to spend all day there but I left by 2.45pm because I was worried for my safety. The area has no CCTV and I felt really vulnerable.
"I decided not to return the next day. When you are in a chicken costume you can't do anything to defend yourself."
Olly is currently supporting Greenpeace's Save the Arctic campaign and plans to protest in Bristol and Bath in the future.
A spokesman for KFC insisted: "At KFC, we are committed to poultry welfare and we use only reputable suppliers, that are the same as the UK's leading supermarkets and restaurants, which meet or exceed UK and EU regulations on quality and welfare."